Hello Dad?


It appears there might be some progress on the paternity search! My cousin Amy, the genealogist found my 1st cousin Valerie through GedMatch. We have my father narrowed down to one of two brothers. I’m not going to name names until we receive the results of a DNA test my potential half-sister is taking. Said brothers live in Ontario but are from New Brunswick where I was born. Valerie’s origins were nearly as obscured as mine but her adopted mother revealed her father’s name. I never had a name.

In any case, I am a Scot! Ironic that my Ukrainian alleged father gave me a Scottish name. Mom wanted to call me Debbie. So I’m cautiously optimistic and pinching myself, can’t believe this is happening! I had given up hope of ever finding my kin. Our kin, mine and my son’s.  It will be interesting to see what develops.


Open Call! 6th CYCLOP International Poetry Film Contest


I’ve been out of the videopoetry, poetry film loop since stepping down as Artistic Director of the Visible Verse Festival in 2015 but will be serving on the international jury of the CYCLOP coming up in November. Here’s the lowdown:

Submissions are now open for the 6th CYCLOP International Poetry Film Contest. The deadline for submissions is September 30, and the screening will be during the 6th CYCLOP Poetry Film Festival, which will be held on November 25-26, 2017 in Kyiv.


6th CYCLOP International Poetry Film Contest

1 August — 30 September 2017

Rules and regulations:

Films of up to 10 minutes duration that are no more than two years old (January 2015) may be entered.

There are no limitation about subject and language restrictions. All films that are not in English must have English subtitles. Each application must also contain the text of the verse in English.

Video can be performed in any techniques using any necessary equipment (video, animation, flash etc).

Each video should be placed on the Youtube channel in free access.

By sending your film, you confirm that the film may be shown at the CYCLOP Poetry Film Festival. The artist must have all property and screening rights.

Each artist can’t send more than two videos.

All videos must be sent with the following characteristics:
File format: .MOV or .AVI.
Standard: PAL. Codec: H264.
Resolution: HD — 1920 x 1080 or 1280 x 720 (16:9) / SD — 640 x 480 (4:3) or 640 x 360 (16:9)

Terms of the contest:
Acceptance of applications — from August 1 to September 30
Scoring — from October 2 to October 15 (remotely)
Longlist announcement — November 1
Screening the best videos — November 25/26 (during the festival)
Announcement of the winners — November 26

Contact information
Email for questions and suggestions: info@cyclop.in.ua
Website: cyclop.in.ua | Facebook Page: facebook.com/CYCLOP.in.ua


Happy Pride Week & My gay uncle


Happy Pride Y’all! I’m queer, don’t exactly wear it on my sleeve, much like my beloved Uncle Doug whom I am very proud of because he did out himself in spite of growing up Catholic in small town Quebec in the 50s. Both my mother Corona’s brothers were tall and handsome and very “sharp” dressers. Doug was the younger and fair. I think my son inherited those ears! He was very kind and loving, smart and funny. I miss him.




Girls With Guitars-ZELLOTS Record Release Party!


All right! We have a date; Sat, Sept 23. I’m working with Jason Flower of Supreme Echo on promotion though he’s already lined up several interviews and record store appearances. Also, after much intensive scouting and thanks to DJ Jeffrey McCloy we’ve found a skookum venue, What’s Up? Hot Dog! on Hastings in East Van.

Girls with Guitars         ZELLOTS Record Release Party!

Come celebrate with the Zellots, fans and Supreme Echo who have just released the never-before-heard and complete recordings of the all female Vancouver punk rock sensation the Zellots, with Heather Haley (vocals), Christine deVeber (guitar), Jane Colligan (bass), and Conny Knowe (drums). Modernettes member John ‘Jughead’ McAdams replaced their original drummer and is featured on the recording. Three incredibly catchy and memorable songs with a high level of musicianship and witty tongue in cheek lyrics sung by the phenomenal Heather Haley whom later formed the .45s (with Randy Rampage of DOA, Brad Kent of the Avengers and Karla Duplantier, ex-Controllers).

Do not fear the flexi ! This deluxe DMM mastered, silver label, custom round 7″ comes housed in a dye-cut paper dust sleeve with a thick closed-pocket cover and booklet! An important piece of herstory! Limited 525 copies.

Rare and collectible indeed! I hope you will join us.



Fighting To Remain


I wrote a darkly funny poem called How To Remain for my last collection Three Blocks West of Wonderland that was largely about how to preserve one’s body and thus life but lately it applies to our fight to remain in the city we love-and love to hate at times-Vancouver.

And oh how I love waking to the irritating and now familiar sound of suitcase spinner wheels rattling down the sidewalk. Thanks Air BnB. I harbour ambivalent feelings about this pervasisve sharing economy. Several friends use Air BnB to help pay their rent, and with Vancouver’s astronomical cost of living, who can blame them? But, of course, that makes it difficult for people to find places to live, people like my son and I. We lucked into this tiny, cockroach infested 1 bdrm after nearly a year of looking and Junior’s been trying to find an apartment for the past eight months. Craigslist is a wasteland so thanks to word-of-mouth he is now waiting for a family friend to move out so he can move into her place. Anyone who has lucked into affordable rents can’t afford to move as one is unlikely to find a better deal, if any deal at all. I’m desperately trying to get into a co-op, can’t see how I’ll be able to remain here in the long term any other way.

I recently took in friends Charles Wilksinson and Tina Schliesser’s documentary No Fixed Address which handily documents the crisis and is beautifully shot, by the way. Several things I took away; British Columbia’s main industry, which at one time variously used to be lumber, mining or fishing, is now condos. The problem is global, and, I’m determined to stay and fight. Why should I-or anyone- be forced out of our beloved home? But like one of the film’s subjects I find myself contemplating a move to Mexico. Despite my skepticism I can’t help but hope this new government will actually do something about the problem, specifically the fixed term lease loophole, the type of lease we felt we had no choice but to sign. I was even spurred to action, wrote my MLA. I received an automated response of course, let’s see if I get a real message or any action.


The Town Slut’s Daughter Live! Stage adaptation in the works


A rock opera perhaps? A spoken word song/performance poetry piece as in one-woman show, is a possibility as well.  Maybe it’s a multimedia fusion of song and verse extravaganza with a full cast. In any case I’m working toward adapting my novel, The Town Slut’s Daughter to the stage.  At this point the project is embryonic but I may have found a director and a composer. Fingers crossed! I need a creative outlet, a break from scrubbing toilets. Whatever form it takes, the production will fuse rock and verse in the vein of my spoken word song project AURAL Heather. More details soon.


London Calling & My Son the Digital Native


I was dismayed and heartbroken to hear of the recent attacks on London. Truly one of the world’s great cities, I love London Town, had the privilege of visiting this past May, which I still haven’t posted about as I’ve been too busy to blog, but I wasn’t surprised to hear that pub patrons hurled chairs and pints at the murderers. Carry on. Remain calm. That is the British way, but what choice do people have except to fight back? Resist terror. Sadly, extremists cannot see that their attempts at destruction are epic fails, as my gamer son would say,  my son being a much more cheery topic. His YouTube channel, RAYCEVICK,  just reached 100,000 subscribers!

A digital native, my media savvy, technically adroit son has been on the Internet since he can remember. Lucas started his first YouTube channel and taught himself how to edit video at the tender age of ten, which is not really surprising as he’s been surrounded by musicians, poets and artists all his life. We did limit screen time and monitor his online activities, including video gaming, and I worry that he isolates himself at times, but he’s carving out a niche, and it appears able to make living doing what his loves. In other words, he’s blowing me out of the water. I am one proud mama.


“A Temporary Stranger” launch


Sadly missed, I’ve been a friend and associate of Jamie Reid’s since 1994 after returning to Vancouver from an expatriate stint in Los Angeles, having gone down there with my band to become a rock star. Obviously, that didn’t pan out but all in all, it was a marvelous experience.

Eight months pregnant, I founded the Edgewise ElectroLit Centre, a literary arts organization whose mandate was to utilize and develop what was then new media and technology for the language arts. We published a multimedia online zine, used videophones to link poets and audiences site to site and provided a venue for videopoetry. Michael Turner helped plug me back into CanLit and told me about Jamie so I contacted him along with Neil Eustache, Sheri-D Wilson and Alexandra Oliver to invite them to read at our debut Telepoetics link-up at the Western Front. To say Jamie was adventurous would be understatement. He agreed, participated enthusiastically and was always a big booster, not just for me and the Edgewise but for pretty much everyone involved in Vancouver’s literary arts scene. For your information, The Edgewise ElectroLit Centre archive is now housed at Simon Fraser University Library Special Collections in Burnaby. It is open to the public and contains several videos of Jamie in action, as well as many other esteemed Canadian poets and artists.

On Thursday I will be reading and helping to launch Anvil Press and Jamie’s posthumous collection, A Temporary Stranger at The Cottage Bistro on Thursday May 25th at 7 PM. Jami Macarty will host a full roster of readers including: Carol Reid, Patrick Friesen, Karl Siegler, Dennis E. Bolen, Stephen Roxborough, Donato Mancini, Heidi Greco, Eve Jospeh, Joanne Arnott, George Bowering, Chris Turnbull, George Stanley, Renee Rodin, Lary Bremner, Mike Barnholden, Maria Hindmarch and moi. “This is sure to be a packed event, celebrating not just the new book, but everything Jamie, so arrive early to secure a seat.” Hope to see you there.


My mother Corona Haley


My dearly long-departed French/Irish mother Corona Haley grew up on the banks of the Matapédia River. She’d endured a hard life, was charming, feisty, sexy, funny and a consummate storyteller.

Family lore has it that she was born in the convent because her mother was only 15 years old when she got pregnant and for some strange reason the nuns took my mother’s name off a Smith Corona typewriter. Reginald Haley came to get Genora when they reached the age of consent to marry her and they had four more children. Sadly, he died a prisoner of war and my grandmother contracted cancer. Corona quit school when she was only 12 to care for her and her younger brothers and sisters. Don’t you love family lore? In any case, seriously damaged, my mother certainly had issues and our relationship was tumultuous but I loved her deeply and still miss her every day.

Happy Mothers Day Mom!


Liar, Liar


“Families First.” What a crock. Christy Clark will say anything to get re-elected. That is for certain, as is the case with most politicians, but Clark takes dishonesty and hypocrisy to new levels. The Liberals-such a misnomer-are very good at coming up with snazzy sound bites though. As the parent of a child on the spectrum I know that autism funding is a huge political football. The same with MSP fees, which have doubled, which no other province pays. BC Liberals effectively do nothing as people struggle with constantly rising costs of living including food, hydro, daycare and housing. Clark is very helpful to her wealthy donors by providing tax breaks while our wages remain low and jobs part-time. Anything below $15. an hour is a poverty level wage, especially in Vancouver. I will vote this spring but as usual there is not much choice. I doubt the NDP have the ability to oust her and the Liberals. We will be stuck with more lies and subterfuge.